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Kontaveit on playing Serena Williams: “No pressure on the result, I take it as a unique experience”

The Estonian will meet Serena Williams for the first time in her career, in what could be the American’s last ever match

Anett Kontaveit, 2022 Anett Kontaveit, 2022 | © Icon SMI / Panoramic

The Arthur Ashe Stadium was alive when Serena Williams beat Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3 at the US Open on Monday. How will it be if she defeats the No 2 seed Anett Kontaveit in round two?!

Despite her ranking, the 26-year old is a rookie compared to Serena. Kontaveit has never played in a Grand Slam semi-final and from the way she spoke on Monday, it sounds like she won’t consider herself as the favourite when she takes on the 23-time Grand Slam champion – playing her last ever slam event – on Wednesday.

“I don’t feel like there is any pressure on me on the results or anything”, Kontaveit said on Monday after beating Jaqueline Cristian 6-3, 6-0 in the first round.

“I’m just going to take it as a real unique experience. I’m not sure if I’ll ever experience something like this again. I think it’s a special moment for her. Really happy to get to play against her on this court, I’m sure at night, in her element. The atmosphere is going to be amazing. I’m really looking forward to it.

“I think it’s going to be one of those matches this year that I haven’t had too many where I just have no pressure on me”, she added. “I’ll just get to enjoy and play as good as I can on the day. I’m going to fight as hard as I can for every point. I’m really going to enjoy the atmosphere being out there against the greatest player of all time. I think it’s such a great opportunity.”

Asked how she would remember Serena, Kontaveit said her competitive spirit shone through.

“I think I just remember her always fighting, her always fist pumping, always being so intense on the court, which is I think great,” she said. “The matches are so competitive. She’s just always there. She’s always fighting. She’s always giving 100 percent. “I’ll just have to be ready for really hard hitting ad some heavy serving. Just play very consistent and fight very hard, play a consistent match. I think that’s how I’m going to approach it “.

The winner of this match will meet the winner of the second-round match between Anastasia Rodina and Ajla Tomljanovic.

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